What I learned at The Southern Coterie in Round Top, Texas


The Southern Coterie is an amazing community of creative female entrepreneurs.  It really has become the “virtual front porch” that founders Cheri Leavy and Whitney Long set out to create when they founded the community in 2011. The Southern C Summit in Round Top, Texas last week was another one of their successful gatherings that was full of inspiration.

I was honored to sit on a panel with Dillards that was all about collaborations but the real treat for me was getting to hear the other speakers and meet all of the inspiring entrepreneurs at the event!  Here are a few of my favorite take-aways from the summit:

Estelle Glass founder Stephanie Summerson Hall Kimberly Schlegel Whitman

With Estelle Glass founder Stephanie Summerson Hall after her wonderful Q and A Session.

Stephanie Summerson Hall, the founder of the incredible colored glass brand, Estelle, sat down with “How’d She Do That” podcast host Emily Landers for a fabulous Q and A session.  Stephanie had us all laughing at her stories of the adventures of starting a business and learning along the way.  She reminded us to “be editorial” and tell our stories.

“People buy your story before they buy your product.”

– Stephanie Summerson Hall, founder Estelle Colored Glass.

Stephanie realized as she began to talk about her business that people really gravitated to hearing more about the company’s namesake, her grandmother, Estelle.  The more she talked about her grandmother’s china cabinets and how she used her things, the more product sold.  She learned from clients that they wanted to gift her products with the story included in the box so she began to include “story cards” along with Thank You Notes in each package.

GoodThyme Farm interior featured in PaperCity – Photo by Trevor Tondro and Otto

We also heard from Bailey McCarthy of Biscuit Home and GoodThyme Farm.  She sat down for a Q and A with Jackie Thomson of Of Counsel PR.  Bailey talked about finding and recognizing strengths in your team and being purposeful about putting them in a job that is the right fit for them.  She uses enneagrams to gain a better understanding of those around but Myers Briggs results were shared and giggled about too!

She also shared the common struggle of finding that her identity was very wrapped up in being busy.  That was something that I could certainly relate to and work on every day, just as she does!

Entrance Hall at Kip's Bay Showhouse Dallas 2022 by Jean Liu

Entrance Hall at Kip’s Bay Showhouse Dallas 2022 by Jean Liu

The afternoon was filled with more great sessions including another Q and A session with Southern Living’s Betsy Cribb and Dallas designer, Jean Liu.

Jean and Betsy shared a wonderfully candid conversation about taking leaps of faith and following your passions in your career.  After earning a Master’s Degree at Harvard, Jean returned to Dallas to run her family business but realized, after a renovation and a few house flip projects, that her real passion was in helping others create amazing spaces to live in.

“At Harvard, I learned that the more I learn, the more questions I have.”

-Jean Liu

She talked about finding beauty in everything around her and shared a story about Thomas O’Brien‘s grandmother who asked him every day to share something beautiful he saw that day.  I love that and plan to start asking that at our family dinner table.

An inspiring speech by the incredible Sandra Campos, a former fashion industry CEO, wrapped up the day. Sandra shared that she found much of her success through working backwards, setting her goal first and then working back from that.  She shared that she often studied how other CEOs got to the top and visualized her success happening the same way. She shared so many wonderful anecdotes about the importance of always being curious, building a team and staying true to your mission.  What I really left her session with was inspiration to truly spell out the road map I have in my head for my business so that my team can help me stay on track and reach milestone goals.

If you think you might enjoy finding inspiration at The Southern Coterie’s events, don’t hesitate to become a member!  You can learn more by clicking here. 

Leave a Comment